FairPoint Energy’s false-front operation

I’ve been digging up some information on FairPoint Energy. This article provides some interesting information, starting with the instruction “NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES WIRE SERVICES.” At first I figured broadcastermagazine.com put this restriction on all their material for some lawyer-related reason, but browsing through their news, I can’t find it on anything else. We’re not supposed to know this in New Hampshire, I guess.

The article tells us what FairPoint Energy is in business terms:

FairPoint Energy, LLC is a subsidiary of the Crius Energy, LLC, a competitive energy provider that is unaffiliated with FairPoint Communications or its subsidiaries. FairPoint Energy is a local provider of affordable, retail energy that offers 100% green energy options to customers in Maine and New Hampshire. FairPoint Energy was created through a strategic relationship between Crius Energy, LLC and FairPoint Communications and uses the FairPoint Energy name under a license agreement with FairPoint Communications, Inc. FairPoint EnergySM is a service mark of FairPoint Communications, registration pending.

This agrees with the fine print on FairPoint’s own website. It’s operating under the name of New Hampshire’s local telephone monopoly, having gotten permission to. To me, since I’ve had to deal with FairPoint Communications’ unreliable ADSL, the name was a negative point, but I suppose the familiarity of the name gives Crius’s operation an unearned advantage in many people’s minds. In an earlier letter, That same web page gives 866-984-2001 as its phone number, even though that number belongs to FairPoint Communications. When I called to get my account cancelled, it was clear I was initially dealing with people who had nothing to do with FairPoint Energy, though they eventually got me to the right place.

I wonder if that was part of the marketing agreement, and what FairPoint Communications employees think of having to answer calls by people upset with a company they don’t work for.

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